Sunday, November 6, 2011

HG 1/144 Gafran Part 1

Combo of simplicity and uniqueness

Starting on a new Gunpla project - the first one for this month. ^^ Unlike the other ones I did this year, all which are pretty old kits, or to quote a "nice" description about them from one hate mail I got some time ago, "Obsolete junk no one give a **** about" (XD), this kit is actually a very recent release. ^^

HG 1/144 Gafran from "MS Gundam Age" was released just last month, but given its anime series is still ongoing at this point when I'm starting to work on it really makes me feel like it came out just yesterday. XD

For the anime itself, I only managed to watch the pilot episode that was streamed for free on Gundam Dot Info. For the lack of knowledge about the show at the moment, I don't want to comment about it yet. ^^; Regarding the Gunplas from the series, the focus is on High Grade and Advanced Grade, with not too many actual releases right now, even through there were tons of new ones announced (as usual), all the way till next year I should add. ^^

Gafran is an MS I didn't find that amazing initially. It's a very weird design, especially when it's supposed to be transformable. ^^; The design is unique, and the transformation is rather simple. I didn't find those two elements impressive at first, but those two factors really translate well into this High Grade release. ^^ It's pretty big in size as compared to Gundam Age-1 Normal from all the reviews I've seen so far, and its uniqueness means there are unconventional design in parts and assembly method - the "fun factors" of building Gunplas that I like very much. ^^ Its simplicity means not too much detailing work needed, while the transformation gimmick, however unnecessary it may seem to me, can realize Gafran's flight mode very accurately according to its design in the anime. The price of 1,200 Yen (exclusive of tax) is very affordable too. All the benefits mentioned make this a very nice kit to have. ^^

Hey, it feels like working on HG 1/144 Tieren Ground Type all over again. ^^ Except for the transformation feature, both kits have a lot of goodness in common in my opinion. I had a lot of fun assembling that kit, and I'm hoping to get the same type of enjoyment from this kit as well. ^^

New emblem for the High Grade series, design style for the box art, seal for merchandises from this anime series and explicit promotion for Bandai Hobbysite.

Average box size for this kit.

Introduction of the kit on the sides of box.


Runner A - The usual multi-color runner. Contains parts mainly for the head, body, shoulders and arms.

(Left) Clear green part for the scattering beam cannon.
(Right) One-piece part for the shoulder armor's spike.

(Left) Very nicely molded curvy parts for the "wings" on the head.
(Right) Three very thin gates connect the part to the runner to minimize nub marks.

(Left) Nicely molded details for the two types of hand units.
(Right) The beam Vulcan parts have small ball-type joints to make them movable it seems.

Runner B - Contains all blue parts mainly for the wings and tail (beam rifle).

Pretty large parts for the wings ...

... and tail.

Runner C - Contains all dark gray parts mainly for the legs and joints of other components.

Cell pattern for the joint parts between the tail components.

Parts for the face.

Polycap set PC-001A and foil sticker sheet.
PC-001A features an extra row of parts as compared to PC-001, originally developed for HG Gundam Double O Season 2 starting with 00 Gundam.

Manual design.

Line art and introduction of Gafran and Colony Destroyer, a large weapon used by the MS in the anime.


Screen shots from the anime.

(Left) The flight mode of Gafran is shown to be pretty articulated. ^^
(Right) Preview of Zedas, another Unknown Enemy MS. The Advanced Grade kit of this MS was just released last Friday (October 4th). The HG version will be out in November.

Design of the pictorial build instruction is the same as the other recent High Grade releases.

One full page on the transformation of the kit. ^^

All parts separated from their runners.

Some painting and panel lining work to start in the next posting. ^^

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